News & Social Media

New study prompts renewed blood in pee warning to women

GPs in Nottinghamshire are urging women to be extra vigilant for the signs of bladder cancer.
The call comes as Public Health England revealed possible factors for poorer survival rates amongst women. A new study by the National Cancer Intelligence Network shows that survival rates for bladder cancer in women are worse than men by about 10%.

The study shows that possible factors for poorer health outcomes include later diagnosis and that women are having rarer forms of the cancer.

The research has prompted calls by health commissioners to renew calls on women to look for the warning signs including blood in pee and pain whilst urinating.

Research presented at the Cancer Outcomes Conference in Belfast, has shown there are a number of possible explanations for why women are being diagnosed later. Research showed that women have a thirty percent increased chance of being diagnosed with the most advanced stage of bladder cancer –than men. It also showed that women are more likely to present as an emergency and women are more likely to have a rare type of bladder cancer: 1 in 4 diagnoses are not of the main type.

Dr Paul Oliver, clinical lead for NHS Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The symptoms for urine infections can be similar to those of bladder cancer. Clearly visible blood in pee is the main sign so women need to be vigilant and tell their GP if they are concerned. The simplest advice is to check before you flush.”


  1. Men have 77% 1-year relative survival compared to 64% in women and men have 58% 5-year relative survival compared to 47% in women. (These findings were calculated using the National Cancer Registration Service data for England.)
  2. In 2013, nearly 2,500 women in England were diagnosed with bladder cancer: Office for National Statistics cancer registration statistics
  3. Around 1,500 died from the disease: Office for National Statistics deaths summary tables 2013
  4. PHE has been responding to the late diagnosis of cancer with awareness raising campaigns like Be Clear on Cancer. The first national Be Clear on Cancer Blood in Pee campaign (October – November 2013) showed that:
  • 7 in 10 (72%) of those aware of cancer symptoms advertising mentioned blood in pee as a cancer symptom seen or heard about in the last few months, compared with 23% pre campaign
  • over 2 in 5 people spontaneously mentioned blood in pee as a symptom of kidney or bladder cancer following the campaign
  • confidence in the knowledge of signs and symptoms of bladder/kidney cancer increased significantly, going from 28% before the campaign to 41% after the campaign
  • although the increase in confidence in the knowledge of bladder/kidney cancer symptoms was higher for women (women: 30% to 45%, men: 25% to 37%), men (71%) were more likely than women (61%) to find the advertising relevant. Similarly more men (48%) than women (43%) felt the advertising told them something new
  • following the campaign the number of bladder cancers resulting from an urgent referral increased by 8.2% in total, with a higher increase for males


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